tv CNN Newsroom CNN January 21, 2012 12:00pm-1:00pm EST
pricing for certain things but will they go beyond those discounts. will there be new grants made accessible. and will there be other ways, like public/private partners where companies step in and donate ipads or other tablets. >> mario, by the way, is from baltimore. he thinks the ravens will play the super bowl. they have to play the patriots tomorrow in the playoffs, but either way, i pass the baton to you. >> he's the ravens fan out of baltimore. i have to be the redskins fan. i'm from maryland too but i'm a little closer to them. they may not be in it this time, but forever go skins. mario will send me a message, i'm sure. good to see you, gary. we'll see more of you tomorrow morning as well. meantime, this is a pivotal day in the 2012 presidential race. the nation's first southern gop primary is happening right now in south carolina and the contest promises to be quite the cliff hanger. we'll get you the latest dramatic poll numbers in just a
moment. but first, the two leading contenders in the state, newt gingrich and mitt romney, actually ended up campaigning in the same spot this morning. tommy's country ham house in greenville, south carolina. cnn national political correspondent jim acosta was there to see it all unfold. so, jim, for a while we thought the two candidates were actually going to be at the restaurant at the same time, but it didn't quite happen that way, right? >> reporter: it did not happen quite that way, that's right. mitt romney showed up about a half hour earlier than expected, trying to get the upper ham, i guess you could say, if i could try that pun one more time. and he made it -- he made his way into the room here. i have to tell you, it was quite a zoo. it was amazing to see so many supporters for mitt romney and newt gingrich in the same room. they were all in the sort of -- it was sort of democracy in action. it was great political theater. people were in good spirits, but they were certainly not holding
back in terms of which candidate they were supporting. and mitt romney made his way through the crowd. reporters tried to ask him some questions as to why were you here a little earlier than expected, we were sort of hoping to see you and mr. gingrich here at the same time. mitt romney did not give a response to that. and then he got on his bus and left. then 15 minutes after he departed, the former speaker, newt gingrich, showed up. he came into the room, made some remarks. if i could throw one more pun out there, he was hamming it up. he asked the crowd where is -- he asked the crowd where is mitt? and he said he was hoping for a little debate. so, you know, newt gingrich did not let mitt romney's early arrival go unnoticed. and, you know, it's interesting to see all of this unfold out here because, you know, this is a huge, huge development if newt gingrich, you mentioned those poll numbers a few moments ago, if newt gingrich somehow pulls off an upset victory here. my goodness, this might be one
of the most stunning turn-around that say we've seen in american politics in the course of a week. i mean on monday i was here on the ground here in south carolina and mitt romney was considered at that point sort of the inevitable front runner, the inevitable gop nominee. he was way ahead in the polls. slowly but surely newt gingrich chipped away at that. mitt romney had those debate performances where he mishandled that issue on his tax returns and all of that. at this point appears to be adding up to a big victory for newt gingrich here in south carolina. the polls are still open, i don't want to call it too early, but it appears to be heading in that direction. >> well, it is extraordinary and hopefully no one is getting too salty while they're trying to get that upper ham, jim. >> there you go. i'll try. i'll try my best. >> okay. you just slice it up for us. all right. so the race in south carolina is extremely volatile. a new state poll has just been released and it shows a huge surge for newt gingrich. as jim was underscoring there,
cnn's don lemon joins us from lexington, south carolina, now. don, give us some more about these results. serve it up for us. >> reporter: oh, serve it up. well, speaking of serving it up, we just came back, we had some great ribs at hudson's barbecue. >> i love south carolinan food. >> reporter: it's interesting. the latest poll, which is an american research group, i have this little piece of paper here. newt gingrich, 40%. 40%. mitt romney, 26%. ron paul, 18%. rick santorum 13%. all right, people at home who haven't been paying that much attention are saying what's the big deal. just a couple of days ago an nbc poll showed mitt romney was ahead 34% and gingrich was behind 24%, ron paul 16, rick santorum 14%. so that is a big surge in just a day or so for newt gingrich. why? he's resonating here. a lot of people said -- there's
even an article in the local paper saying, oh, well, women aren't going to go for newt gingrich, they're going to go for mitt romney and men are going for newt gingrich. hey, bobby, come over here. i was talking to bobby just a second ago. you just voted. >> i did, i did. >> reporter: bobby athey, right? >> correct. >> reporter: who did you vote for? >> i voted for newt gingrich. >> reporter: why? >> because i just really think he's head and shoulders above the rest. >> reporter: and we were talking about that whole women thing and you say? >> i think it was just tacky of his ex-wife. what, is an ex-wife going to say something good? i doubting it. and look how old it is. so i really think that was totally out of line and unnecessary. >> reporter: we were talking to other women too, there was another young lady here who left, her name was savage, it wasn't jessica savage, but she had the same name. and she said she voted for newt as well.
you said that -- and some people have been saying the thing that changed their mind, and i don't know for you, you said it was the debate. >> well, we had just been glued to the television set and watched every debate that's come along. i just really -- i am so impressed with him. i've gotten more impressed with him as time went along, because he knows what he believes in, he stands firm on his ideas and he gets it across. >> reporter: and whether you like it or not, he doesn't sugar coat it, he says what's on his mind. >> that's what we need. >> reporter: thank you for being so candid. kind of like newt saying it like it is. >> well, it's time to be candid. >> reporter: thank you very much. we appreciate it. so a little rain outside is getting better. didn't stop folks like bobby from coming out, fred, so there you go. newt gingrich, we've been hearing a lot. he's surging in the polls and pretty much everybody i talked to here says newt, newt, newt. there you go. >> all right. and bobby not at all sugar coating her comments, just telling it like it is as she seize it.
don lemon, thanks so much. we'll check back with you throughout the afternoon. of course be sure to stay with cnn all day for coverage from south carolina. and tonight we've got the results from this primary. tune in at 6:00 p.m. eastern for our special coverage of the winners and losers of the south carolina primary. let's talk about weather right now. a little bit of everything going on. snow, wildfires, flooding, all of it happening in different parts of the country. let's go to reno, nevada, first. progress for firefighters there battling a 3,000-acre wildfire. authorities say it is now 100% contained. chicago, well, it's digging out from a snowstorm. not that snow is anything rare for chicago, but many inches fell just yesterday. about half a foot, 6 inches, and hundreds of flights. that's the big impact, they have been cancelled. oregon is dealing with some of the worst flooding in more than a decade in the hard-hit town of turner. people evacuated on rescue boats
yesterday. reynolds wolf with a closer look at this picture. boy, extremes this winter. >> yeah, very active weekend too. it's going to be interesting to see how that plays out in parts of especially the carolinas for the big day like today. what's interesting, you were just showing in oregon some of the flooding there. we have the potential of seeing flooding in parts of the southeast, especially in georgia and the carolinas. flash flooding certainly possible. something else you're going to be seeing is the potential for tornadic activity. you see that area that's shaded or at least that rectangular shape, that's a tornado watch in effect through midday. i would not be surprised to see that shift a little bit more to the carolinas as we make the way later into the afternoon. but it's not all rain we're talking about. we mentioned the possibility of some snowfall. the snow falling very lightly in parts of the northeast due to that area of low pressure that's pulling its way out to the atlantic. right behind it the cold air will be a difference maker. could see several inches of snowfall in parts of new york. have already seen several up to columbus circle and into the center of the u.s., plenty of sunshine. back out to the pacific
northwest, snow in the highest elevations of the cascades and central rockies. even the sierra nevada will play into that. some places up to a foot through the weekend and into midday next week. see the areas in purple and pink, those are your watch, warnings and advisory areas. areas so desperate for snowfall will get it today. as you look at the central plains, they're going to get the cold weather. 32 degrees expect the highs. 52 in dallas, 45 in portland, 37 in washington, d.c., 74 in tampa, 28 in boston and 78 in new orleans in the crescent city. so you're right, fred, everything from rain, sleet, snow and, again, a lot of cold weather out there too. >> you know the folks in colorado i know are pretty happy. at least the skiers, snowboarders and a lot of businesses who have been counting on snow. >> isn't that funny how it works out. if you're in a place like buffalo and you get three feet of snow, it's kind of a pain. if you're in colorado, it's good. >> thank you so much, reynolds. >> you bet. we look at some of the weekend's most intriguing legal
cases straight ahead. our legal guys explore the case of a patient whose family claims she was rejected for a kidney transplant because of her developmental disability. and a new movie "red tails" premieres this weekend. i talk to 92-year-old tuskegee pilot, bob friend. [ kate ] most women may not be properly absorbing the calcium they take because they don't take it with food. switch to citracal maximum plus d. it's the only calcium supplement that can be taken with or without food. that's why my doctor recommends citracal maximum. it's all about absorption. and who ordered the yummy cereal? yummy. [ woman ] lower cholesterol. [ man 2 ] yummy. i got that wrong didn't i?
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a new jersey family alleges their 3-year-old daughter is being denied a life-saving kidney transplant. avery friedman and richard herman will be joining us -- richard will join us from plantation, florida, but they're going to look at this case that you're going to learn a little more about right now. we're going to hear about your thoughts about stephanie stall's story coming to us from affiliate kyw. >> reporter: 3 1/2-year-old amelia rivera was born with a genetic abnormality that causes severe developmental disabilities. >> she brings joy to our life. >> she's amazing. she's great. she is very loving. her brothers love her. >> reporter: amelia has had heart surgery and now her kidneys are failing. doctors at children's hospital referred her to their transplant team. her parents say that's when they were told amelia is not a candidate for a transplant because of her mental disabilities. >> we were told many times throughout the meeting that she
cannot have the transplant because she's considered mentally retarded. >> reporter: the family says they were also told medications after a transplant would also be a problem for amealia, who takes drugs to control seizures. >> so i said you're saying in six months to a year when her kidneys fail, you want us to let her die? and he said yes. >> reporter: outraged, she blogged about what happened and that quickly went viral. she flooded with comments and responded with a facebook post saying it can't comment on individual cases. >> i researched it right away and found that it's very common that people with developmental disabilities aren't always treated equally in the medical field. >> reporter: an official statement from chop says in part it does not disqualify potential transplant candidates on the basis of intellectual abilities. we have transplanted many children with a wide range of disabilities, including physical and intellectual disabilities. >> i was shocked, shocked. i never once thought that this was an issue. >> so that was stephanie stall
from affiliate kyw reporting. so is the core issue, whether a patient was rejected based on her developmental disability, our legal guys are standing by an will be weighing in next. ete. i say 1-sheeter. [ female announcer ] in this lab demo, 1 sheet of bounty leaves this surface as clean as 2 sheets of the bargain brand. super absorbent. super clean. bounty. beth! hi! looking good. you've lost some weight. thanks. you noticed. these clothes are too big, so i'm donating them. how'd you do it? eating right -- whole grain. [ female announcer ] people who choose more whole grain tend to weigh less than those who don't. multi-grain cheerios -- 5 whole grains, 110 calories. creamy, dreamy peanut butter taste in a tempting new cereal. mmm! [ female announcer ] new multi-grain cheerios peanut butter. i want to fix up old houses.
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now more on the case of that 3-year-old new jersey girl whose parents claim their daughter was denied a potentially life-saving kidney transplant because of her disability. let's bring in our legal guys, avery friedman, joining us from cleveland. good to see you. and richard herman, a new york criminal defense attorney and law professor joining us from plantation, florida. good to see you as well. >> hi, fred. >> gentlemen, this is a real tough case. richard, you say this is a case of he said/she said. the family is saying that the doctor disqualified the child because of her condition. the doctor, however, is saying this is an issue of whether she can tolerate those post surgical treatments. namely, she could face seizures and even brain damage. so is this a common juncture that we're seeing between what the medical community says and what the family wants, richard?
>> well, fred, you said it right. it's a very tough, tough case. and hospitals have to generate criteria to rely upon in awarding kidneys. there are 87,000 people annually on kidney lists who need kidneys. i think last year 4500 died waiting for kidneys. so they have to determine who are the best candidates who could successfully live with the kidney. and here, the hospital is at a disadvantage to comment because of patient confidentiality and federal hippa laws, but i can only tell you that the mental disability is only one factor used by the hospital. it is a factor but it's not the soul criteria. in this case, this young child has an immune disease issue and a heart disease issue which may not work with the transplant, so it's a very difficult, difficult case. >> it is difficult. everyone agrees on that one, avery. so you wonder, if this is a
legal fight in the making or is this a dispute over medical ethics? how do you see it? >> it's actually both. title i of the americans with disabilities act of 1990 prohibits the denial of service based on disability. now, if disability alone were the reason, the hospital could very well be violating federal law. but it has to be considered in the context of sound medical judgment. the bottom line is if there are factors other than intellectual disability that go into the formula, then that will be -- that will determine the outcome. what we know this week, coming week, is children's hospital of philadelphia and the family, the rivera family, will meet and talk this out in more detail. >> in the meantime just for the record, children's hospital did say in this statement that we do not disqualify potential transplant candidates on the basis of intellectual abilities. we have transplanted many children with a wide range of disabilities, including physical
and mental disabilities and they have also responded to a barrage of facebook comments that have come their way saying, quote, we're listening, we hear your concerns and take seriously your posts, e-mails and phone, but as you said, avery, there will be other discussions later on in the week involving all parties. meantime, let's talk about this lawsuit that's very interesting, this involving footwear. sketchers, a lot of folks are familiar with the shape-up or tone-up shoes. now a young lady by the name of holly ward is among those who said she wore those sneakers for wife months at work as a waitress and on lots of walks and she claims that she has developed severe pain in the hips and that according to her doctor, she actually had fractured hips, and they're drawing the correlation between these fractures and the wearing of these shape-ups. so, avery, you first, how do you go about trying to prove this case? how would holly ward do that? >> the key that holly and the
class which she represents will have to undertake is to look at the so-called safety tests that were undertaken by sketchers. this is exactly the reason why the federal trade commission whacked reebok with about $25 million in fines because the question of the science. this usually affects women 40 and over. there's a real question of whether or not there are defects, it's a products liability case. we'll find out in discovery when the safety tests emerge. at that point we'll be able to judge whether or not the case is meritous. >> richard, quickly, what is the responsibility of a shoe manufacturer to ensure your safety when you're wearing their shoes? >> well, it's their obligation to test it to make sure it's sound and it's a viable product and not injure people. sketchers is saying this is a very sketchy case, fred, because millions and millions of people wear these shoes and go unharmed and uninjured. we don't know the physical
history of this small group of plaintiffs. we don't know if they were walking eating doughnuts. we don't know what they were doing. we don't know their physical body systems. so all of that will come into play here. but, you know, avery is right, reebok got banged for $25 million in a similar case, so i think sketchers will probably settle this. >> there's more. we've got to handle this case in about 45 seconds or less. so, richard, i know you say garth brooks has friends in low places and is hoping he'll have friends in the jury pool as well because now he's suing a hospital over the fact that they took his money, he says it was a donation of $500,000. he thought in return that he would get his mother's name on a building. but the hospital says no. this was an unconditional gift. so there has to be a paper trail, right, richard? a promise? >> you would expect there would be a paper trail and do what you've got to do. he sued them, but the hospital is saying, hey, listen, this was an anonymous gift and unconditional and we had no
obligation to name any facility. it was only after the fact that mr. brooks decided he wanted something named after his mom. >> avery, do you want to sing a few bars on this one? >> i don't have to. it's all in his roots, he showed up in boots. look, people in oklahoma love this guy. they love this guy. i don't know who -- the hospital is going to take half a million dollars to name the entire hospital, that's a tough one. but you know what, i think garth has the charisma and i think the jury will love this guy, but you know what, he's got to prove the case by a preponderance of the evidence. we'll find out next week when the jury comes back. >> we will see whose praises will be sung. thanks, avery, richard, thanks so much. we'll see you in 20 minutes or so to talk about a hearing for a man who allegedly faked being a member of the rockefeller family and now facing murder charges. [ sniffs ] i have a cold. [ sniffs ] i took dayquil
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flew 142 missions. >> did you have a nickname? >> yes, i had one. >> what was yours? >> beaver. >> beaver for? >> well, they said i was always into everything. sort of the eager beaver. >> later, pilot bob friend explains they all worked hard to, in his words, get it right. now let's talk money and prepaid debit cards. before you get one, you've got to read the fine print in this week's smart is the new rich, christine romans tells you what you need to know before you sign up. >> the concept of a prepaid debit card is simple. add cash and you subtract for each payment you make. that's the simple part, it controls your spending and avoids debt. but here's the bottom line on prepaid cards. it can be more complicated. be wary. they're useful only if you're trying to stick to a budget or you want to give it instead of a credit card to your college bound kid. there's a long list of fees and fine print that could end up costing you way too much.
depending on the card, you could even be charged for just checking your balance. there are often fewer protection than a debit card or credit card if you lose it. listen to how "time" magazine boils it down. consumers who use prepaid debit cards as a substitute for mainstream financial products are relegated to an economic underclass that prevents them from borrowing or obtaining credit on the best terms. ouch! there are alternatives. getting into the banking system will help your credit. use a debit card from your credit union. look for a kret you kncredit unr low-fee bank. if your debt is a problem, get it under control. head to the national foundation for credit counseling site, nfcc.org to find one near you. for smart is the new rich, i'm christine romans.
checking today's top stories, south carolina is holding the nation's first presidential primary in the south. republican candidates are crisscrossing the state working to win over undecided voters. a new poll released today shows newt gingrich now leading mitt romney by 14 points. cnn will carry live coverage of all the results tonight starting at 6:00 eastern time. new arrests now in a growing hazing scandal at florida a&m university. four members of the marching 100 band have been arrested. they allegedly beat other members of the band. these arrests are not related to an earlier incident which led to
the death of drum major robert champion. back now to that cliff hanger gop presidential primary in south carolina. the candidates are stumping hard all day, as voters head to the polls. all four contenders spelled out their positions on a variety of issues at cnn's debate thursday night. among the hot topics, the financial and mental well-being of america's veterans. >> the veterans really deserve help, both as a physician and as a congressman, as the people who come back and aren't doing well healthwise, they need a lot more help. we have an epidemic now of suicide of our military coming back, so they need a lot of medical help, and i think they come up short changed. >> people who went out and served this country should have preferences when it comes to job positions when they come back to work in this economy. >> in our state we found a way
to help our veterans by saying, look, if you're going to come back, particularly if you're in the national guard, we'll pay for your education, college degree, both the fees and tuition, we give you a full ride. we also had a plan that said if you come back and have been out of work for a year or more, we'll put like a bonus on your back. if anyone hires you, that bonus goes to them to pay for your training. >> i would say we ought to both have a transition process for veterans to enable them to have a real advantage of getting a job when they come home and we ought to have a very aggressive economic program of regulatory cuts and tax cuts in american energy so that the entire population is absorbed by getting back to about 4% unemployment, in which case virtually every veteran would have a very good job at the end of the transition period. >> if you missed that show-stopping debate, you can watch it again today in its entirety right here on cnn at 4:00 eastern time. we just heard the candidates voice their concerns about veterans returning home from the battlefield. well, for many vets, finding a
j job is proving to be extremely difficult. cnn correspondent barbara starr reports on an effort in the nation's capital to get vets out of the unemployment line and into rewarding careers. >> reporter: military veterans crowd this washington, d.c., job fair, hoping to find work. among them, young veterans, age 20 to 24. a staggering 30% of them are unemployed. the job picture is not getting better. >> we're scheduling interviews for that today. >> reporter: marine corps lieutenant colonel ken crabtree, a financial specialist, is leaving the marines later this year and already he's looking for work. >> with the current economy, i definitely don't want to leave it up to chance that i'm just going to fall into a job. >> understandable anxiety for all veterans. last month the unemployment rate for male veterans who served in the current wars was nearly 12%, much worse for female veterans. 21%. the national average is 8.5%.
so crabtree's first stop, like most here, learning to write a resume that highlights military skills that will interest a potential new employer. >> it's a process. >> reporter: former marine kevin smegel runs veterans job fairs for the chamber of commerce. he says vets should be savvy. >> they need to start thinking about where are the jobs. not just thinking about going to hair hometowns, but where are the states where there's low unemployment. >> reporter: they say business must commit to veterans. the white house has called on the private sector to hire or train more than 100,000 veterans or spouses by 2013. >> this effort here is one tool in the tool kit. >> reporter: the veterans affairs department sponsored this job fair. it required each employer here to be ready to offer at least 25 jobs to veterans. a total of 6500 jobs are available. interviews are on the spot.
27-year-old former marine alex ellis may have just gotten the break he badly needs. he left the marine corps in 2007 after serving in iraq. the only job he's been able to get since, part-time security guard. >> you go up to a booth. tell me about that. >> i just asked if they were hiring police officers and they said that they were. and they handed me the paper and said you can fill this out. we can get you in for the physical and the written test on february 4th. >> reporter: he's been checking out what's available here with local law enforcement agencies. navy veteran aaron isaac is about to get called in for his own job interview. >> i have high hopes because i mean you already know like the interview -- if you already have the interview, that means they like you. all you've got to do is go in and show why they like you on paper. >> reporter: there was some good news at the end of the day. that young man you met at the
end of the piece, aaron isaac, he walked out of the job fair with a job offer from a federal law enforcement agency. barbara starr, cnn, the pentagon. >> encouraging news there. be sure to stay with cnn all day for coverage from south carolina, and tonight we've got the results. tune in at 6:00 eastern time for our special coverage of the winners and losers of the south carolina primary.
being a member of the rockefeller family is accused of murder. our legal guys are back. avery friedman in cleveland, richard herman in plantation, florida. this too is a fascinating case, isn't it? i'm going to dare try to pronounce his name, avery. christian -- >> i got it. >> gerhart strider. is that right? >> got it. >> he wants to be known as clark rockefeller, even as he's now facing charges of murder. and this involves a case that spans, what, 26 years, avery? >> yeah. >> how did this come about? he went from standing trial for faking his identity to now facing murder charges. >> yeah. actually he was in jail for kidnapping, believe it or not. this guy has more aliases than newt's got wives, i'm telling you. in california, his name is chris chitchester. in massachusetts, it's clark rockefeller because he wears an
ascot, you see. he's still in prison but he's facing a grand jury probable cause hearing coming up on whether or not he murdered a fellow in california 26 years ago. the question on a case like this, it's a vintage cold case and the question is whether or not the judge will say there's sufficient evidence in california for the case to go forward while he's still in prison in massachusetts. >> okay. and that is the key, richard. is there sufficient evidence. we're talking about the bodies of two people that were found underneath a pool, a swimming pool, and this happened to be the location that he once rented a place to stay? >> yeah, fred. the standard here for this preliminary hearing is whether or not there was substantial evidence that a crime was committed. it's a very low standard. if the judge finds that, then a trial date will be set for him. meanwhile, his kidnapping charge, his prison time ends halfway through 2012. so if they bring further
charges, there's going to be bail an everything else. but when you bring a cold case 26 years old, the dna is degraded, witnesses' memories are faded, it is a very extremely difficult case to prove. and whether or not they have enough sufficient evidence to prove that case beyond a reasonable doubt, a much higher standard, is really questionable at this time. i don't know that they have it. time will tell. >> all right, fascinating case. we'll continue to watch it because it's really just at the beginning stages. avery, richard, always good to see you. thanks so much. >> salute your dad and the red tails. >> we'll talk more about them in fact after decades of trying to get the tuskegee airmen's story to the big screen, filmmaker george lucas does it with that movie named "red tails." it opens this weekend and stars oscar winner cuba gooding jr. among them, talking about his role in the film. we'll take you to a private
war overseas. their experiences in world war ii are unfolding on the big screen in "red tails." george lucas says hollywood refused to fund his black cast movie so he paid for it himself. >> come on. slip just a little. >> congratulations, captain, you are the first negro to shoot down one. >> that's one of the stars, cuba gooding jr. is also one of the actors in that film. we caught up with gooding during a special screening just for the tuskegee airmen. >> we've been given the frag order to provide air cover for the atlantic. >> i'm cuba gooding jr., and i'm here to introduce "red tails," which is a heroic tale of the tuskegee airmen.
they were the 332nd fighter group, which was the first all-black fighter group stationed in italy. they had to fly with the b-17 bombers as they did the rage on berlin. they helped to save a lot of these airmen who were in these b-17 bombers. >> this is a b-51d with the bubble canopy. it has the red tail and it's a great airplane. i'm dr. roscoe c. brown jr., tuskegee airman. i was commander of the fighter squadron and some of my exploits are portrayed in the movie. we won lots of medals, shot down lots of planes, blew up lots of planes. in my generation, there were many african-americans who knew that we could do anything that whites could do. all we wanted was the opportunity. >> stay with the bombers. >> they called us the red-tail angels because we stayed so close to them and protected them.
i like to say that the message of this is excellence overcomes prejudice. excellence overcomes obstacles. >> their legacy will be of heroes, american warriors who were sacrificing their lives for our country, and they did it selflessly and they did it as a unit of african-american men, which made an accomplishment that helped win the war. >> 92-year-old airman bob friend says "red tails" reveals a pivotal chapter in american history, not just tuskegee history. the recipient of the air force's distinguished flying cross honor tells me face to face why the experiences of the pilots, mechanics and gunners must be shared. >> i can't afford to have a loss as my bombers have been suffering. can you help save lives? >> you get us new planes. >> do you remember that moment when the p-47s were replaced by
these new p-51s? >> oh, sure. >> what was that moment like? >> it was great. you know, you didn't fly -- you didn't get into a p-51, you put it on. you wore it. see, we only flew p-47s for one month. and then on july the 4th of 1944, we flew our first p-51 mission. >> do you recall your feelings when you first targeted another aircraft? when you first took that aircraft down? >> the first airplane i encountered, we were meeting head-on and i didn't know it. >> bogeys inbound 12:00. >> they're closing in mighty fast. >> i said, damn, he's shooting at me. but anyway now my problem was are we going to have a collision. >> so what are you concentrating
on most, not hitting him or trying to target him? >> at this point i was starting to worry about not running into him so i let him know what i was going to do. when i went like that, he went the other way. i turned around as fast as i could. he's gone. >> you remember all this as if it were yesterday. >> it was. i think it's an important part of our history. and i don't mean tuskegee, but it's part of american history. >> hold your fire. they're ours. red tails. i don't recognize the markings. he's colored. >> so if you don't tell these stories, then no one really can. there are an awful lot of tuskegee airmen who have not shared the stories for various reasons. my dad being among them. >> yes, i know. my brother-in-law was that way.
because he didn't get a purple heart and he had been wounded twice. he said that was another part of my life. i don't want to -- >> that's what my dad has said. he was a gunnery sergeant and he said, you know what, i don't live in the past. but it didn't mean that he was not proud of being a tuskegee airman. >> believe me, i understand. i understand. because you don't sell it. you don't try to use it as an advantage. >> what are you hoping young people who perhaps really can't identify with the '40s, they can't identify with world war ii, korean war, and they go to this movie "red tails." what do you want them to really understand and grasp? >> i think it's important for them to know that these things happened. i think that we can say -- look back and ask ourselves was it a positive phase, and it's a positive phase.
that's all that matters, because i think we all grew in some way, both sides. i say both sides, i mean talking about racial. >> mr. bob friend, thanks so much. >> thank you. >> it's a pleasure meeting you and talking with you. >> nice talking with you, dear. >> thank you. so mr. friend says serving as an airman was really just the start for a good number of the original 3,000. mr. friend would continue a technical career with the u.s. air force, become assistant deputy of launch vehicles and space shuttles. and my dad, as you saw kind of in the starting position there, malwhitfield, would become the first active duty serviceman to win gold, silver and bronze as an olympian and then become a u.s. diplomat. other men were inventors, entrepreneurs, ceos and public servants. we salute their service. something with it...
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checking today's top stories, south carolina is holding its primary today. the first one in the south and the latest polls show a new front runner in the state. newt gingrich. he now leads mitt romney by 14 points in an arg poll taken thursday and friday. you can catch cnn's primary coverage live tonight starting at 6:00 eastern time. and divers have resumed their search for survivors aboard the damaged costa concordia. a 12th body has been found within the ship. another 20 people are still missing. search efforts on the partially submerged cruise ship in italy were suspended friday because the ship began to shift. italian authorities are expected to transition to a recovery effort soon and concerns are growing the wreckage could pose a significant environmental threat. coming up this afternoon on cnn, when you bite